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October 17, 2013

Dana Altman

Johnathan Loyd


THE MODERATOR:  We'll start with an opening statement from Coach.
COACH ALTMAN:  We should be practicing, but Johnny wanted to come here and entertain you.  So we're excited about our season.  I like our guys.  We have got a good back court coming back with Johnny as a senior and Dominic Artis and Damyean Dotson, two guys who played a lot for us.
We're a little inexperienced up front.  Lost four really good seniors.  E.J. Singler, Arsalon Kazemi, Tony Woods, and Carlos Emory were four guys that really had great senior years for us last year and going to be very difficult to replace.
But I think we have got a good talented group.  I think they will be fun to work with, so we're looking forward to the season.
THE MODERATOR:¬† We'll take questions for Coach or Johnathan, the reigning Most Outstanding Player of the Pac‑12 Tournament and mayor of LasVegas.

Q.  Any status on Joseph Young?
COACH ALTMAN:  There is no update for Joseph.  We have filed all the paperwork with the NCAA.  We are waiting word on his waiver.  We feel pretty confident that we'll get that, but we have not received official word yet, no.

Q.  Did you receive any deadlines?  Did they tell you a date?
COACH ALTMAN:  No, we just are awaiting word from them.

Q.  There's been a lot of talk about the kind of culture of transfers in college basketball this offseason, and transfers obviously have played into your program quite a bit over the last few years.  Can you talk a bit about both why you view transfers as maybe important to building your program and also why you've had so much success in bringing them to Oregon.
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, there are a number of players that are transferring across the country.  We came into a situation three years ago at Oregon and we felt like we needed to drastically change our talent level.  We had an opportunity to take some transfers.  And they have worked out well because they have been really good guys, real easy to work with.
I think anytime you take a young man for one or two years, it's important that myself and he get along, that we have common goals.  And we have been very fortunate that that's been the situation.
Arsalon Kazemi came in last year and was all about the team.  Olu Ashalou, the year before that, all about the team.
So we have been just really fortunate.  Guys have come in, really cared about our team.  They wanted to have good years for themselves, but in the process our teams were able to win a few games.

Q.  Talking about cultures, there's also a notion that Oregon has conferred such an enormous advantage by having all the Nike money that is funneled through the donations.  You want a stadium; they built a stadium.  You want a pavilion for your basketball team; build one of those.  Is there any notion at all that ultimately this does confer an unfair advantage and mandate some conference intervention for capping that amount of money that comes into Oregon?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, we updated our arena.  I think we had the second oldest arena in the country.  We built an arena that's very nice.  It's not over the top by any means.  But it's a nice facility.  I think every university has benefactors that benefit their programs, athletically, academically.  Ours just happens to be someone that runs Nike.
But I think that as you look across the country, whether it's Washington, whether it's Cal, they have all got alumni that are very generous to their programs.
Mr.Knight has gained a lot of attention because he has been very generous.  But if you look at our basketball facilities, you know, we had an update because Mac Court was just really old.  And we finally got a new facility.  So I don't think they're above and beyond anything that anybody else has.

Q.  You start the season in South Korea this year.  Obviously you're there to win a basketball game, but what are you kind of looking to get out of that experience?
COACH ALTMAN:  Well, I was really excited that our players wanted to go.  We received the invitation.  I went to the players, and they all were excited about going.  So that told me that not only were they excited about playing Georgetown, but I told them that it was going to be a couple days that we were going to spend with the troops and let them know how thankful we are for the service they provide.
Our guys are fortunate.  They get to go to the university and play the collegiate basketball, but there are young men making sacrifices and young ladies making sacrifices.  So they have that opportunity.  So it's our way of saying a small thank you to the service that they give our country.

Q.  How much fun is it as a player to play in this conference that has gotten so much better over the last couple years and just the talent level and the depth of teams is better than it's been in so long?
JOHNATHAN LOYD:  Yeah, it's been fun.  The competition level is high.  The games are always close during conference.  So, yeah, it's really fun playing against a lot of good players and giving it your all.  That's the best you can do, so that's fine.

Q.  As a player, what do you make of all the focus on officiating over the summer and some of the upgrades that they have and focus they have put on that as going into this season?
JOHNATHAN LOYD:  Well, during practices Coach has told us that they're going to take all hands off on defense.  So seems like the game's going to be a lot more high scoring and more freedom of movement for the offensive player.
So I feel like it's going to be a little bit easier for the offense, so the defense is going to be a little tougher.  But it's just another challenge you're going to have to overcome.

Q.  Do you like the fact that all officials will be graded on every call they make, every call they don't make?  That may be new to you today, too, but to hear that?
JOHNATHAN LOYD:  I guess it's to maybe get the best officials at the end of the day when it comes to the tournaments at the end of the year.  So there's nothing wrong with it.

Q.  I'm just wondering, as a senior, what's it like being on a team where sophomores are considered veterans?
JOHNATHAN LOYD:¬† I would say it's something new.¬† But those guys are real good.¬† They did a lot for us last year as freshmen, so they can only get better.¬† So it's‑‑ there's no problem with it at all.

Q.  Talk a little bit about replacing some of the physical play and the inside presence that you lost from last year's team.
COACH ALTMAN:¬† It's going to be a challenge for our ball team.¬† Especially Arsalon's rebounding.¬† He was a unique player in the fact that he really focused on rebounding.¬† And 10‑plus rebounds a game is going to be very difficult to replace.
Collectively we're going to have to do a great job at every position, not only inside, but our guards are going to have to do a much better job on the boards.
Tony Woods blocked a lot of shots for us.  E.J. Singler could guard a number of positions.  And Carlos was our best athlete.  His athleticism on some plays really was the difference in a number of games.
So those four guys are going to be really hard to replace.  They were all seniors, so they physically were developed and could bang around.
Mike Moser's going to have to do a great job.  Ben Carter's going to have to take a big step, Waverly Austin, two guys that played for us last year are going to have to take big steps.
But I think collectively rebounding is going to be a big concern, and I think that's going to have to come from all positions.

Q.  What was your favorite memory of advancing all the way to the Sweet 16 last year, and what did you learn during that run that will help you this season?
JOHNATHAN LOYD:  I would say just actually getting to the Sweet 16 with the group of guys that I really enjoyed being around.  We came together as a team to make a late run, and that was probably the most fun part.
What did I learn?  You got to play hard.  At the end of the day, from start to finish, you got to play hard and you can't take any lapses.  Because when we took one little lapse in the beginning of the game that Sweet 16, we were down by 15 quick.  So it's something you can't let happen.
THE MODERATOR:  All right.  Thank you.

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